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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie makes points about dealing with bullies and choosing violence or nonviolence in certain situations. It may not have all the best answers, but it could inspire interesting discussions.
Positive Role Models
The main character tries to be a good person, to forget his violent past and to do something constructive with his time, but he doesn't quite succeed.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of shooting and killing, with blood spurts as bullets strike. Bullies beat up innocents; strong bloody wounds; cuts and bruises; severed finger. A flashback shows a woman screaming and a dead child.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Flirting. Married couple kisses.
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A few uses of "f--k," "s--t," "damn," and "goddamn."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking by adults (whiskey), background smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Forsaken is a violent Western: Many characters are shot and/or killed, with blood spurting as the bullets hit. Characters are also beaten up, with bloody faces and cuts and bruises. There's a severed finger and a disturbing flashback of a screaming mother and a dead child. Language is infrequent but also strong, with a few uses of "f--k," plus "s--t" and "damn." Sex isn't an issue, but there's some mild flirting and a wife gently kisses her husband. Social drinking and background smoking are seen. Even though this is a decent, modern example of the Western genre, and the movie promises interesting discussions about bullies, there's not much here to interest teens (aside from fans of star Kiefer Sutherland). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Though it borrows liberally from the classic Shane and doesn't really offer anything new, this lowkey Western still works, thanks to patient storytelling and a batch of strong performances. Emmy winner Jon Cassar, who directed Kiefer Sutherland in the hit TV series 24, is at the helm and allows for many potent, touching scenes of character interaction that subtly strengthen the drama. Wincott is especially good as a three-dimensional bad guy with both a history and a moral compass.
Speaking of history, it helps that there's a lot here. FORSAKEN marks the first time that Kiefer and Donald Sutherland have played father and son in a movie, and Kiefer and Moore reunite for the first time since 1992's A Few Good Men. Not to mention that seeing the younger Sutherland back in the saddle recalls his Young Guns films. He's older now, and his face has plenty of character; with little dialogue, he effortlessly carries his scenes. Even as the plot slowly heads toward the inevitable, it's not hard to care.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.